At least 187 Cameroonians who were members of Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist group have returned home and surrendered to the authorities. The former jihadists from the district of Mayo-Sava, in Cameroon’s Far North province, gave themselves up, many of them returning from Nigeria on foot.
They were taken on Wednesday to a base of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), an anti-Boko Haram force combining soldiers from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. The former militants are to be enrolled in rehabilitation and deradicalization center after which they will be integrated into the community.
About a thousand former jihadists, including children under 15, had already joined the reinsertion programme. After being assessed to establish that they have definitively broken with Boko Haram, ex-fighters are taken to Mowoure, also in the Far North, where they are given farmland with which to earn a living.
Boko Haram’s nearly 10-year insurgency is concentrated in northeast Nigeria, but spilled over into Niger and Cameroon but for which MJTF has been making headway in eradicating and decapitating its networks.